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Ombudsman pulls out graft, usurpation raps vs. Noynoy Aquino over Mamasapano incident


Ombudsman Samuel Martires has withdrawn the violation of anti-graft laws and usurpation charges that the government filed against former President Benigno Aquino III in connection with the deaths of 44 members of Special Action Forces in 2015 while in pursuit of a high-profile terrorist in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

In a two-page resolution dated June 24 but released only on Friday, Martires said that he finds no sufficient ground and evidence to charge Aquino III for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Usurpation of Official Functions under the Revised Penal Code.

Martires said he arrived at such a decision after reviewing previous Ombudsman Resolutions in June 2017 and September 2017 which dismissed the complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide against Aquino III, former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas.

These resolutions were made by Martires' predecessor, former Supreme Court justice and ex-Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. Morales was an appointee of Aquino while Martires is an appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Wherefore, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that the People of the Philippines be allowed to withdraw the information in criminal cases against accused Aquino and thereafter the same be considered dismissed,” Martires said.

Martires, however, clarified that his move does not mean that Aquino is off the hook for good.

“This is without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges against accused after the conduct of preliminary investigation,” Martires said.

The 44 SAF commandos were killed by a combined force of Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters and members of other rebel groups in an operation to get terrorist Zulkifli bin Abdul Hir alias Marwan. 

Marwan was killed in the operation.

Purisima allegedly still took part in the planning of the operation even if he had been suspended by then-Ombudsman Morales over his alleged involvement in an anomalous government contract with courier firm Werfast. — RSJ, GMA News

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